Gini Dietrich and others have already weighed in on this issue, but I have my own take that I thought I should share.
In case you’ve missed it, last week, a representative of Chrysler’s now-former social media agency, posted the following tweet via the @ChryslerAutos Twitter account:
“I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f**king drive”
Both the employee and his agency, New Media Strategies, found themselves out of work and out of a client, respectively, in short order.
In my opinion, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.
My heart goes out to the newly pink-slipped employee, who just learned a valuable career lesson. Trust me, it’ll make for a good war story when you’re older. Don’t ask me how I know.
The larger issue is how much faith companies and agencies are placing in the hands of youngsters whose thought processes and judgment haven’t necessarily caught up with their social media savvy.
My inference is that the employee in question may very well have been managing multiple Twitter accounts using Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or some other aggregator, and simply didn’t realize which account he was using when he chose to opine on the driving acumen of Detroit motorists.
I’ll bet he dropped another F-bomb just after he pressed “tweet” and realized his thoughts were now attributed to an important client and would be preserved in the Twittersphere for all eternity.
Should he have lost his job? You bet. Some mistakes an employer cannot forgive.
But should New Media Strategies have had safeguards in place to prevent something like this from happening in the first place? Absolutely.
You wouldn’t send a med student into the OR to perform an appendectomy, so why would an agency risk its clients’ reputations and its own livelihood on a system that is one thumbstroke away from disaster?
I find the response to New Media Strategies’ CEO Pete Snyder’s blog post regarding the fiasco of great interest. You can check those out by clicking HERE.
Whether you’re a corporate communicator or work for an agency with access to its clients’ social media accounts, now would be a good time to review your safeguards and make sure you’re not one F-bomb away from the unemployment line.